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11-15-2011, 08:40 AM   #1
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Which 50mm version for indoor sports?

I am currently debating which auto focus 50mm lens to aquire for sports, particularly indoor basketball.

At the moment i shoot with a manual 50 f1.7 but have to wait untill the action enters my pre-focused zone (which at f2 is not that deep).

So has anyone any advice/knowledge or experience of the different 50's available?

I have read the reviews of the 501.4 and 50's 1.7 (f and fa) and find it hard to make my decision?

I am looking to get the one that tracks focus swiftest and locks on giving the highest possible hit rate from constantly moving random direction subjects.

any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

many thanks

11-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #2
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Definitely get the FA 50mm
Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Autofocus Lens 20817 B&H Photo

But why a 50mm for sports? Wouldn't something along the lines of a 70-200mm lens be better for that purpose?

Adam
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11-15-2011, 09:10 AM   #3
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Many thanks Adam.

the reasons i currently use a 50mm are as follows:

i shoot mostly directly under the basket and therefore the 50mm framing suits me without the need to crop.
its faster even stopped down at f2 rather than f2.8 allowing a lower iso
its cheaper

and as i also use the 50mm for live band work it suits me more again.

in the fullness of time i may afford the 28-70 or 70-210 ranges but for my current needs the 50mm suits just fine.

best regards
11-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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Or the F50/1.4.

11-15-2011, 09:38 AM   #5
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many thanks, not easily finding a F501.4 .

have found some f501.7's though and plenty of FA501.4's.

best regards
11-15-2011, 09:59 AM   #6
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The FA50/1.4 is my gotta-get-the-shot lens.
11-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #7
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Well if the focal length works then the F or FA are fine. When wider can do, then the DA 40mm/f2.8 Ltd. is possible. The DA*55mm/f1.4 is very slow on focussing, so that only works when you do prefocus.
11-15-2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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I would recommend the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM because it's fast at AF. I've currently got one for sale over in the marketplace... Check it out

11-15-2011, 11:12 AM   #9
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I take a lot of basketball pictures from close up. I have an F50 1.7 in my gear but actually use the DA40 for most baseline shots. The DA70 LTD is useful for most other shots. There is nothing wrong with the F50 1.7, I just find the Limiteds to be so sharp corner to corner. You have a lot of good options.

I see a lot of people using their 70-200 zooms a lot. I use mine for hockey because of distance but find the primes superior in contrast and sharpness when I don't need the reach. Also, slower shutter speeds are sometimes possible.
11-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #10
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I have done a lot of indoor sports with my K50/1.4

In many amature events, I find the lighting is so poor that AF performance is starting to suffer any way so MF is the way to go.

Even in a pro arena I have taken my 135/2.5 over my sigma 70-200/2.8.
11-15-2011, 01:27 PM   #11
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Like several previous posters, I shoot indoor sport (volley-ball in my case) and I must state that MF is the best option when the light is not very good.

Simply I gave up on AF lenses for volleyball, because the sport is fast and the AF is not fast enough. As I can often stand close to the sideline, I use typically 2 MF lenses: Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4 and a Zeiss 85mm f1.4. The VL58 is a pleasure to use. The Z85 is not a sport lens but it works fine when I need a close-up.

Hope that the comment may help.

Last edited by hcc; 11-15-2011 at 05:08 PM.
11-16-2011, 02:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
I would recommend the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM because it's fast at AF. I've currently got one for sale over in the marketplace... Check it out
i have read that the sigma has a tendancy to AF faster than the FA501.4 but i also read in the lens reviews hear that the F501.7 and FA501.7 seem to be rated faster than the FA501.4 as far as AF speed goes so i am a little confused

there are too many options and i am indeed easily confuesd.

lighting levels are sufficient for me to shoot at f2 and so the main criteria for me is AF speed and accuracy, as i am not too concered with achieving edge to edge sharpness as long as centre sharpness is good, which all of the above do very well indeed.

many thanks
11-16-2011, 03:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Like several previous posters, I shoot indoor sport (volley-ball in my case) and I must state that MF is the best option when the light is not very good.....
i used to use two MF lenses when i had nikon gear, but now using pentax i dont have the 20mm wide angle as yet so just shooting with the 50.

the lighting levels are sufficient for the occasional TV crew and so should be suitable for AFand while i get some ok shots with MF there are so many near misses that it frustrates me. so i shall try giving AF an oportunity to impress me

many thanks for everyones input.

best regards
11-16-2011, 05:14 AM   #14
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50 mm F/ 1,4 or F/2 and prefocus.
11-16-2011, 05:16 AM   #15
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I forgot. Use two zones of prefocus. Medium and more large distance.
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